22nd Asia Junior Table Tennis: Flight delay sends Sri Lanka to the bottom

22nd Asia Junior Table Tennis

The Sri Lanka team en-route to the 22nd Asia Junior & Cadet Table Tennis Championship had to pass out on their first-day team events after their flight was delayed. This resulted in the teams ending up at the bottom most positions in the overall standings.

The Sri Lankan team left the shores for Thailand early on the 16th of September 2016 with their day 1 games in the Junior and Cadet team events also scheduled to take place on the same day.

It is inconceivable as to why the team left for Thailand on the very same day their matches were planned. It is a practised norm that any sports team from junior to international level arrive at least 12 hours ahead of the event to have adequate rest ahead of the fixture. Unfortunately, this was not practised in the tour and with the flight postponed, Sri Lanka had to award a walkover for teams on the first day.

The Lankan team that tasted success in the South Asian circuit could not however thrive against the top Asian nations. Both the Cadet and Junior Girls’ teams lost out to Thailand and could not progress forward. It was a similar case for the Cadet and Junior Boys’ teams as Sri Lanka lost out to Hong Kong and Thailand.

Sri Lanka could no progress forward and had to play the 7-12 positions play-offs. The Cadet Boys were defeated by Saudi Arabia 3-2 but Sri Lanka registered their only win against Kazakhstan 3/2 to get the 11th spot. It was a similar case for the Cadet Girls’ team where they were able to defeat Kazakhstan to take the 10th position overall out of the 11 teams.

It was a disappointing finish for the Junior Girls’ team who finished last out of the 12 teams but the Junior Boys’ team however managed to beat Saudi Arabia and Vietnam to finish 11th out of the 14 teams.

Had the flight and logistics been in place, the team would have been able to perform at a higher standard considering their 9 gold medal clean swipe at the most recent South Asian Championship.